pretty vegan shoes for spring

hey there.
i'd like to start by saying that i don't plan to turn my blog into a shopping blog but since i'm making this switch to incorporate more animal friendly choices into my wardrobe while phasing out my leather goods, i thought i'd share what i'm finding in my search in case you'd like to start too.  

first up.
i bought these adorable ballerinas the other day at payless.  you can check them out
 here.  i wore them all day running errands and they didn't hurt me feet at all.
i was really quite surprised by this.
i had gone into nordstrom and tried on just about every *comfort* flat they had in stock and none of them were as comfy as these.   
they are on sale right now for under $20.

and check out these cute sandals here at forever 21.
they also come in lots of colors.  i have not tried these on yet so i don't know how comfy they are.
but i plan to try them asap.
these are under $9.

and how cute would any these toms be with a pair of jeans, a white tshirt and straw bag?
i especially love the ikat print.
and that leopard pair could replace my leopard loafers.
they are vegan and for every pair you buy toms donates a pair to a child in need.
kinda hard to resist that.
check out all the colors here.

so as much as i'm sad about giving up my leather, i'm rather exhilarated with all the new possibilities.
and please do add in the comment section any finds you think i should know about.



  1. Isn't it funny that the cheaper shoes are vegan? I have several pair of "accidental" purchases of vegan shoes over the years. The only thing about vegan shoes that I do not care for, is they are more likely to wear out faster than leather ever would.

    1. It's the same with pastry - the cheap Applestrudel comes without butter but with vegetable oil! ;-)

  2. Well i am popping into payless today - those flats are cute! Good for you Janet!

  3. Good finds Janet!
    I really like the Tom's shoes and the fact that they give shoes to children, I have bought a few pairs of those for my daughters and they love them.

  4. Hi Janet, I really don't want to be combative about this, but I don't see how you can reconcile your great cruelty free intentions, with buying things from Payless and Forever 21, both of whom have regularly been regularly cited for violating fair labor laws, even internationally. Tom's is a truly great company, who I think it's great to support, but I would really think twice about giving money to the other two. I hope you understand why I'm writing this.

    1. hi kathy. i totally understand the controversial nature of buying from these discount retailers. i have many, many opinions about this and i should probably do a post on it but until then, this is the best i can do in this small space. and know that i care about all life, not just animals. :)


    2. Never doubted that, but am curious about how one reconciles all these conflicting things - a post would be great.

    3. I am in no way trying to be combative here, either, but I have to agree with Kathy -I wondered the same thing, as soon as I saw your post.
      I also have to say that I did always wonder how people who are Vegan rationalized wearing leather and carrying leather products, so I am not at all surprised that you are moving in this direction. You have to do what's right for you! No judgment here, just curious - a post would be great!! Love your blog!!!

    4. I thought the same thing as Kathy, actually. I recently read the book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. It has forever changed the way I view clothes and my consumption of them. I highly recommend it!

    5. Call me cynical, but aren't we all supporting exploitative companies and industries with the purchases we make every day? Few products are without some controversy. Even the fruits and vegetables we buy at the grocery, surely some migrant farm worker was treated unfairly and underpaid for their work. I think it's impossible not to leave a negative footprint, whether it's on the environment, or animals, or people. Are high dollar clothes that are made in China any better than inexpensive clothes made in China? What about Apple products? Are we going to give up our iPhones and iPads because the Chinese workers are overworked and poorly treated? What we need is a return to decency and ethics in industry. Let's not blame the consumer.

    6. thank you anon. now i don't have to do a post on this. but in all seriousness, this is the truth of the world we live in. we all have to listen to our hearts and do our best. my next door neighbor teaches global marketing at the university of redlands and also happens to have been born and raised in china. she tells me that w/o the factories in china making these goods the people there would be starving. so who's to say what is right or wrong? the burden really is on the companies and manufacturers not the consumer. and here's another point. most of the people reading this blog have the luxury to choose where to shop. that's not the case for most people in the world. economics plays a huge part in all this. for me, finding a pair of cute sandals for $10 is fun, for someone with less financial stability it is imperative to be able to purchase goods at the cheapest possible price.

    7. I applaud you, Janet, for your sensitive and sensible choices in a world full of examples of consumerism gone wrong. You are idealistic and grounded, too. I look forward to future installments.

      I find your $10 Payless purchase much more ethical than the crazy wardrobe bulimia others endorse in the name of finding personal style. What is worse for the world, a $10 pair of sandals that don't hurt animals but don't support first-world work standards, or dozens of garments, shoes, and bags discarded on a whim to be replaced by others just as quickly? I find this trend much more tragic than a pair of cheap sandals.

    8. Obviously being a consumer is complicated, but I do think it's wrong to say "don't blame the consumer." We all vote with our dollars, and companies do respond to customer concerns - we need to voice those concerns..

      I also think that shopping second hand is a very good way to be a more ethical consumer. I understand and support the choice to not wear leather, even purchased used, but I don't think shopping at Payless is necessarily the next-best choice.

  5. I think your concern for animals is laudable, and I admire how consistent you are in your approach. At the same time, the idea of shopping at places like Forever 21 and Payless makes me uncomfortable. I'm no expert on this, but my understanding is that "fast fashion" stores source their goods from factories that are extremely exploitative of their workers while polluting the environment. I know you care about human rights and the environment. Have you given any thought to how we can respect animal rights without harming humans and the planet? I understand that this is a complicated practical problem and I'd be very interested in any insights you have.


  6. Oh my gosh...I bought those same flats at payless this weekend! Kindred spirits or what :)

    We have a store here called Vintage Scout that only sells organic clothing and shoes. I think you should come here for some shopping. XO

  7. Food for thought. Seems the non-leather are less expensive. It would be hard for me to give up my leather though.

  8. I love the look of those ballet flats!
    My feet sweat something fierce in plastic...I have tried but I must stick with canvas, cotton or leather.
    I buy less and wear the shoes I own until they are no longer decent.
    It's not too green of me I know.
    Hopefully you will not judge me too harshly Janet.

  9. Cute ballerinas and comfortable too!
    You're such a caring person, and even still you can't win for losing huh?... I knew you would get some backlash from posting your sources. Keep following your heart and conscience Janet! You are a good person.

  10. Cute shoes! Check out Rocket Dog shoes. Rubber soles and cloth uppers. I only wear flats and I love them. Ebay has them....new for great prices.

    I'm on a 'buy nothing from China' trial. it's harder than I thought it would be!


  11. I have the top ones in all black. They are probably the most comfortable flats I have ever owned. I wish they sold them in brown, gold, and silver too.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. I love my Toms. I also like the selection on Zappos

    I live in BFE Oregon, there are NO shoe stores close by( everything is at least an hour away)-so Zappos usually saves the day for me.

    Just put "vegan" in their search bar-it turns up 388 choices! Enjoy :)

  14. Some vegan clothes tips:

    Urban Outfitters Kimchi Blue Sweetheart Ankle-Tie Skimmer

    Cute and comfortable. The ties can be reconfigured or cut off if desired.

    Love is Mighty: Dressy flats of old, hand embroidered textiles

    GOOD GUYS Don't Wear Leather of Paris: The new spring shoe line is out

    Brave Gentle Man Shoes (just for fellas) ~ Fair Labor

    Cornelia Guest handbags

    Vaute Couture - mostly winter coats, recyclable, USA made

    Search e-Bay for Stella McCartney shoes.
    It's my understanding that the Stella shoes are made in Italy

    Google 'vegan clothes blog' for shopping tips

  15. Wow. Exhausted from reading some of these comments! I'm still stumbling towards giving up dairy. Last time I ate a quesadilla I felt like it might as well have been a big ole burger. Meh.

    I love food. Most of all I love my tea. English breakfast with whole milk and sugar. My beloved cuppa. What can I replace the milk with? I tried almond milk- it was yucky. Hate the non dairy creamers- too artificial. Any suggestions? Brand names appreciated!


    1. J, I like soy milk in tea. It has a taste for sure, and it's definitely not milk, but I find that the taste goes well with tea (especially chai tea).

    2. I use soy also. It took just a bit to get used to and now milk tastes odd.

  16. I am always on the lookout for ballet flats. I find some of the top name brands hurt my feet too. Too stiff. I usually go with lower priced brands, like Colin Stuart from Victoria Secret. I will definitely stop by Payless and try the ones you posted.

  17. I am a new commenter here, but I've read all the way through your archives, Janet. Thank you for such a beautiful sharing of your life! I have the Payless ballet flats, and just purchased several more pair. I walked all around San Francisco on vacation without a blister. I have problem feet and it takes a special shoe to gain my loyalty. This shoe uses something like Memory Foam technology in its sole to achieve its amazing comfort. Love them!

  18. Hi Janet,

    I used to shop at a lovely shoe store in the UK called the Natural Shoe Company. Their shoes range in price etc, however they stock a range of Vegan shoes.



  19. You're on to a real trend, Janet. I was just out shopping for shoes and noticed that all kinds of materials are being experimented with, especially in sports shoes. The colors and mixed media are really fun!

  20. Love those ballet flats! I gave all my leather shoes away and I'm down to one leather purse I had bought on ebay that is my primary purse. I have an aqua synthetic purse I'll be donning as soon as the robins appear.

    Would you consider putting up a few pics of the different outfits you wear with the black/white ballet flats? The b/w is a bit of a quandry for me...Love the b/w look on a shoe but I find myself thinking if I would be limited with only red, yellow, black/white clothing etc.

    I think it's very nice you are showing vegan options that are affordable. Ebay is wonderful too for vegan choices, often I have to add insoles to those because they are quite flat. The ones you show may be padding enough. I'm intrigued. : )

    Thanks for the suggestions, my daughter loves Toms.


  21. I have the top ones in all black too x

  22. These are cute..

  23. I love the Toms...so many options and it's hard not to love their mission, one for one.

  24. Not wishing to be rude and only wanting to enquire, but doesn't "vegan" just mean plastic (apart from cloth, only useful in dry climates, obviously)?! I think there are more issues with plastic than leather, if I'm honest. And personally, I run a mile from plastic on my feet, ugh.

    Each to their own but I am happy to stick with leather and will continue to do as best I can (in European terms, even so-called "organic" will be from Portugal/Spain and have various arguments against it). As for clothes, although I try not to invest in fast-fashion if I can help it, much higher end clothing is now also made in China... In fact, we ordered dresses for my daughter's wedding directly from China, so that at least all the money went there and not to middlemen. This after discovering that my eldest daughter's wedding dress bought here in Switzerland had been made in Vietnam anyway and cost 10 (yes, ten) times more - and very little of that will have gone to the maker!!

    Anyway, I don't think there can be a right or wrong, it's all far too complicated these days. We just have to be as aware as possible, I guess.

  25. http://www.karenkane.com/

    For clothing options, 90% made in USA- I think the sweaters are still made overseas.

  26. Fyi, if you are intending to buy toms know that only "vegan toms" are vegan. All other toms are lined with the skin of pigs who are a)said to have the intelligence of a 4 year old child, b) generally killed at six months when they can live 20-30 years and c) often scalded and skinned alive. Not Good enough , toms. I like sanuks! www.sanuks.com, and i just found some at ross
    for $17.99! I love "hunting" for vegan clothing and shoes! Vegan shoppers temd to be very savvy and joyful! Also check out novacas. Buttery vegetable leather, made in spain with accordance of the e.u. living wage and conditions for workers. Now to go to payless...:-)

  27. Pretty examples, janet. I personally love my Tom's the best! Sooooo comfy.

  28. After scrolling through the comment I see people bring up some important points. I wondered about the fake leather vs. real environmental side effects etc. but it's such a personal choice on how we choose to lighten our footprint. I refuse to shop at WalMart and some of those big box stores simply because they are killing our local manufacturers and designers. They're taking away our creative choices. That said, it's like being on a food diet, you're bound to cheat once in a while. I could eat healthy all day then have a few potato chips...sigh.

  29. Love your choices. I don't buy from Forever 21 any more though since I saw a documentary on PBS on its sweat shop practices. I know, I know, it's always something... it's hard to find products that are 100% ethical. I guess you just have to choose your battles.

  30. Does this mean you are getting rid of the nice Coach luggage because of it's leather trim, too?

  31. A little snark here ..a little snark there..its hard to please everyone.

    Good on you Janet for doing what you think is right and thank you for your generosity in sharing your beliefs with us.

    Personally, I think you totally rocked those boots. I loved them and I'm sure that the people of Redlands will miss seeing that confident, sassy, mature woman walk around town in them. Good luck for this next phase of your life!


kindness is never out of style.